. The Transom .

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

You know you're a YouTube star when...

Last week I was watching the Nickelodeon TV show Mr. Meaty with my young daughter. For those who don't regularly subject themselves to Nickelodeon, Mr. Meaty is a puppet show similar to The Muppets or some of the characters on Sesame Street. At the end of the show, Mr. Meaty and his friend broke into an exact parody of the now famous Chinese Backstreet Boys, complete with the third, seemingly oblivious friend in the background. If you don't know who the Chinese Backstreet Boys are, you clearly don't spend any time on YouTube or socialize with anyone who does. These video clips have been viewed and circulated millions upon millions of times.

As I sat there watching a puppet pretending to be a Chinese college student pretending to be a Backstreet Boy, something struck me, and it wasn't my daughters sippy cup. This was the first time I'd seen a mainstream television show actually incorporate, and really just plain copy, a parody from a social media site. It wasn't on Leno or CSI. It was Mr. Meaty. Obviously my daughter had no idea of the connection, but to me this was a sign of a coming entertainment revolution. YouTube, and social media as a whole, has largely been contained to itself. Its users largely kept to themselves and if you weren't in the community, you didn't get it. But now it is being embraced by traditional media and incorporated into mainstream entertainment.

If you haven't seen any of the Chinese Backstreet Boy clips, do yourself a favor and watch it here. In fact, go watch YouTube's Most Viewed Clips of All Time and be alert for the next parody on Mr. Meaty.